An amino acid consensus sequence for the seven serotypes of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) nonstructural protein 3B, including all three contiguous repeats, and its use in the development of a pan-serotype diagnostic test for all seven FMDV serotypes are described. The amino acid consensus sequence of the 3B protein was determined from a multiple-sequence alignment of 125 sequences of 3B. The consensus 3B (c3B) protein was expressed as a soluble recombinant fusion protein with maltose-binding protein (MBP) using a bacterial expression system and was affinity purified using amylose resin. The MBP-c3B protein was used as the antigen in the development of a competition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA) for detection of anti-3B antibodies in bovine sera. The comparative diagnostic sensitivity and specificity at 47% inhibition were estimated to be 87.22% and 93.15%, respectively. Reactivity of c3B with bovine sera representing the seven FMDV serotypes demonstrated the pan-serotype diagnostic capability of this bioreagent. The consensus antigen and competition ELISA are described here as candidates for a pan-serotype diagnostic test for FMDV infection.